Part of the rules of parenting etiquette states you can’t yell at random kids in the playground, but there is a way to enforce good behaviour during play dates. Here’s some advice on how to deal with unruly kids, overbearing grandparents, and a few other sticky situations.
Parenting etiquette 101
Inviting the right guests to your kid’s birthday party
It’s unkind to exclude three or four kids from your child’s class when sending out the invites for a party, so that’s why it’s better to only invite a select few. You still need to be polite and discreet, though, because you don’t want to hurt any child’s feelings.
When your kid isn’t thrilled about a gift
Aunt Sue feels hurt because your kid CLEARLY hates the gift she got her. You’re also mortified. But that’s where parenting etiquette comes into play. You need to show the gift giver that you acknowledge the fact that your kid’s response wasn’t exactly tactful.
You host a playdate, and there’s a brat in the bunch
You can’t yell or punish another child, even if the little brat pushes every last button you have. But what you can – and should – do, is to enforce your house rules. Inform your pint-sized guests that they’ll be sent home if they don’t abide by your rules. When the parent comes to collect her spawn, don’t play the blame game or tell the story your kid perceived it. Tell her that you had a little bit of a hard time and that’s why you had to be the party pooper.
Someone gives you unwanted parenting advice
As unsolicited as their advice might be, they’re giving it from a well-meaning place. Perhaps these people are reflecting on how they reared their own kids, and see it as a shared experience. Maybe they really just want to help and feel needed. Be gracious with the barrage of baby advice but don’t falter on your own choices.
Your mom has a lot of issues with your parenting style
Yes, there are some family dynamics at play here, but it’s often the grandparents that are very involved in the lives of their grandkids who feel like they need to comment. If your mom often looks after your kids, her comments deserve some credence. Even if you don’t agree with her, it’s essential that you be respectful of her feedback.
Big kids are being mean to your toddler
In this situation, you could try using some courtesy to try and get the bigger kids to clean up their act. But the chances are good that they’ll sass back. This is where you’ll have to bite your tongue and move your kid out of the picture. You don’t know these kids or their parents, so it’s best to remove yourself and your kid from the situation.